Does your online lingerie boutique offer plus sizes? Great! With the average woman in both the US and the UK being in the ‘plus’ range, this is definitely something you should consider introducing if you haven’t already.
However, simply having larger sizes available in your product range doesn’t necessarily mean that you are making it easy, or enjoyable, for plus-sized women to shop with you.
Here are some ways that you can make your lingerie store better for all of your plus-sized customers.
Make it clear you offer plus sizes
'Petite to Plus Size Lingerie' on the Parfait Lingerie homepage
Are you wondering why your plus-sized lingerie isn’t selling as well as the smaller sizes? First things first, ask yourself this: do people actually know that I sell plus sizes? Have your size range front and centre on your website – here at Parfait, the first thing you see when you land on the homepage is the caption “Petite to Plus Size Lingerie” with the size range 32A-44G just below.
Be vocal about what you’re offering. List your size range in your store’s Twitter bio, and in the meta description for your website (that’s the bit that shows up in Google). Give plus-sized shoppers a reason to click through to your website in the first place.
Create a plus-sized section
HerRoom's 'Plus Size Lingerie' section
Create a separate category on your website for plus sizes. Not only does this add to making it obvious that you sell them, it also gives plus-sized customers a welcoming area to shop on your site. Here, they can browse products shown exclusively on bodies like their own (more on that in the next point), and not have to go through the frustration of clicking onto multiple products only to find that none come in their size.
Use plus-sized models
LiviRae Lingerie uses plus size models on their website and in their campaigns
And not just the hourglass ones! Customers will be more confident about making a purchase when they can see how the lingerie fits on someone who looks like them. If you can afford to hire a range of models, aim to represent a whole variety of body shapes – wide-hipped, wide-shouldered and everything in between!
It’s also a good idea not to pick a model who’s right at the bottom of your plus-sized size range (or worse, a size below – yes that happens). Just as showing the lingerie on plus-sized bodies is helpful because it won’t look the same on a size 6 as on a size 16, it also won’t look the same on a size 16 vs. a size 26. If you can only hire one plus model, I’d recommend picking one towards the middle of whatever size range you offer.
Share your plus-sized customers’ photos
Plus size fashion retailer Torrid shares customer photos on their Instagram page
Sharing your customers’ photos in general is a great way to build up a sense of online community. It’s also another great way to let your followers see how your lingerie looks on a range of body types, which is especially helpful if you just can’t afford to hire lots of models.
However, there are lingerie brands that only seem to share images from their thin and ‘model-like’ customers. Share customer photos or don’t, but if you do choose to share them, do it in a way that doesn’t discriminate. Purposefully excluding plus-sized fans won’t leave them feeling valued or appreciated, and they will notice you’re doing it.
Offer plus-size exclusives
In 2013, Parfait's Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 was only available in sizes 30-40D-G. After receiving many requests from customers for larger cup sizes, this best-selling style is now available up to a K cup in four colors. The style is strategically designed to offer support where it's needed most for G-K cup sizes.
What looks great on a core-sized body might not suit a plus-sized body so well, and vice versa. That means it’s not always a good idea to just offer the exact same styles for both size categories. A core-sized brief pattern that’s simply graded up for a larger size for example, may not offer enough coverage for a customer with a curvier tummy.
Talk to your plus-sized customers to find out what they want, and then hunt down or design lingerie especially with them in mind. Show your plus-sized customers that they’re not just an afterthought, but that you’re as focused on their needs as you are on those of any other customer.
Offer pretty plus-sized lingerie
It’s all too common to land on a lingerie retailer’s website, marvel at all the pretty underwear, and then watch every single stylish piece disappear when you filter for a larger size. So many lingerie brands advertise that they offer an extensive size range, when the truth is that they are selling chic, on-trend bras to their core-sized customers only and offering nothing but boring, beige items above a 38-band.
It goes without saying that plus-sized customers want stylish lingerie too! If you’re a third-party retailer, know that brands making gorgeous intimates for larger sizes do exist, so invest the time to find them. The Charlotte, Marion and Ava sets here at Parfait are just three of our gorgeous styles available up to a 44 band and size 4XL in the briefs – get in touch if you’re interested in becoming a stockist.
If you sell plus-sized lingerie, which of these steps have you taken to make your online boutique and your social channels more welcoming and user-friendly for plus-sized shoppers? Are there any other tips or ideas you’d add to the list?